Review: Union Electric | Chinatown Bar

Originally published on Concrete Playground.

Feel like tucking yourself away in one of Melbourne’s cuddly little alcoholic concaves? Then introduce yourself to the new kid in Chinatown, Union Electric.

Keep your eyes peeled for a mossy-green door, as behind it Huw Griffiths runs a bar rich in charm and quirky ambiance. Griffiths has worked in notable bars and restaurants within the CBD, including Madame BrusselsLe Bon Ton and The Meatball & Wine Bar, bringing oodles of experience to his new venture. The Union Electric team endeavours to use high-quality products and serve every glass with a side of friendly service.

What makes Union Electric so great is that you can actually buy a few drinks without draining your wallet. Which gives you more bang for your buck, and more room to play.

For those pining for a post-work or post-lecture drink, Union Electric has cultivated a series of creative cocktails filled will all sorts of fancies, which must be good for the soul. For something fresh, look at the Kum Den Botanica ($16), a concoction of apple juice, lime, cucumber, elderflower and West Winds gin. You could call it the bar’s take on the green juice fad. The twisted vodka raspberry ($15) with raspberry malt shrub, Imperial soda and Citadelle 6C vodka is sure to treat your sweet tooth, and if you didn’t get around to taking your coffee break for the day, the espresso martinis stand tall for a noble $10.

Otherwise, there is a plethora of local and imported wines, ciders and beers to select from. Sip them all in the outdoor smoke-free courtyard, which, shielded by a mammoth four-storey brick wall on one side and the undercover bar on the other, is cosy day and night.

Union Electric doesn’t have its own kitchen, but foodaholics needn’t fret, for they’ve teamed up with its pleasant Chinese neighbour New Kum Den to deliver scrumptious accompaniments to their signature beverages. Yum Cha dishes like Peking duck pancakes ($10), salt and pepper silken tofu ($8), and duck spring rolls ($7) can magically make their way to your table from next door. But don’t get there too late — the food stops at 10.15pm.

Whether you feel like hanging out with your mates, taking someone out for a date, or just want to have a quiet drink in the thick of the city, the Union has your back.

Image credit: Union Electric Facebook

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